Investigators said he had visible injuries to his face, including cuts and two black eyes, but it wasn't immediately clear if it was from an assault or a fall. However on Wednesday, the medical examiner's office confirmed the man had died from blunt force trauma to the head and torso, declaring the death a homicide.
The victim was later identified as 80-year-old Robert Raynor, according to the New York Post. His upstairs neighbor told the outlet he was woken by a ruckus in the early hours of Monday morning.
"It was so loud, I could hear it over the air conditioner," Isaac Williams said. "I said, 'What the hell are they doing down there?' It was loud banging, like 'boom, boom, boom.' Like people were wrestling or someone was throwing somebody around."
The following morning, it was Williams who made the grim discovery in the hallway.
"The next morning I was coming down to get some cigarettes, and I just happened to look back in the hallway and I saw him laying there," he said. "My first instinct was he was drunk and he'd just fallen — even though I'd never seen him drunk."
"But then I just looked. I didn't get too close and I was looking at his stomach and chest to see if they were moving."
He said the victim was only wearing pants, which were partially pulled down while his arms were above his head, giving the impression he'd been dragged into the hallway.
Other neighbors described the man as reclusive, who was very frail and had severe difficulty moving around. According to the broadcaster, he lived with his niece and her two daughters.
According to the Post, Raynor had 24 previous arrests; but of the four records that were unsealed, none were for pedophilia: Two were for assaults against a girlfriend in 1987, a third for assault in 1992, and finally for drug possession in 1996. His name is not on the state's online registry of known sex offenders.
The victim's daughter Carolyn Whetstone strongly denied to the NY Daily News her father was a pedophile.
"That's not my father," she said. "He would not touch a child. He would never violate anyone. He's got daughters and granddaughters that he’s watched when he’s come to visit me... That's not him. That's not true."
She said her dad was suffering from cancer and arthritis, so didn't even "have the physical ability to do that."